By Miller Saltzman
The United States government will shut down Tuesday, October 1st if a new bill authorizing federal spending for the next fiscal year is not passed. No Congress in America’s history has ever threatened to default. Now who are the culprits behind this and why are they threatening a government shutdown? Republicans are using it as their last effort to repeal The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. It’s their last effort because Tuesday is also the day 40 million more Americans will be able to buy quality affordable health care. President Obama promises that even if there is a government shutdown the healthcare marketplace will have its inaugural opening on Tuesday.
So what is a government shutdown exactly? A government shutdown would affect 38% of the federal budget. It would freeze federal loans, select military personnel wouldn’t get paid on time, research into lifesaving discoveries will be halted, all national parks will be closed, and worst of all many workers will be laid off. Even if the shutdown doesn’t occur, the threat of it has already hurt the world economy. According to a report from Morgan Stanley the government shutdown “reduces quarterly GDP growth by about 0.15 percentage points per week of shutdown.”
President Obama and Congress Democrats are willing to work with Republicans to improve the law, but are not willing to concede because of a threat. Republicans are going to this extreme because they’re scared that Obamacare is working. Already more than 100 million Americans have new benefits and protections under the law. On Tuesday, nearly half of Americans who have individual insurance plans will receive on average $2,672 to help them purchase affordable healthcare plans from the Obamacare marketplace. Americans can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Obamacare requires insurance companies to spend 80% of the money they receive from Americans on their healthcare. If they don’t, the money they didn’t use is given back to their customers. Obamacare allows people under the age of 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan. It also gives tax credits to small businesses so they can afford to give their employees quality healthcare plans.
Republicans are not playing fair. They didn’t get what they wanted in a fair democratic process so now they are threatening America to try to get what they want. But Democrats are not willing to negotiate over spending the bills. Obama said Friday, “Nobody gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States just to extract political concessions. No one gets to hurt out economy, millions of innocent people, just because there are a couple of laws that you do not like.” The Republican members of Congress who are threatening America are not doing their job. It is their responsibility as elected officials to pass a budget. The Republicans have broken their promise to the American people. If the government is shutdown then hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans are laid off, when in fact the people who should be laid off—immediately—are the obstructionist Republicans.